A family are in shock after their horse was killed by lightning last week. Eclipse, an eight-year-old Arab gelding, was struck as he grazed in his field in Dorset last Tuesday (19 June).

April Kibby, whose 17-year-old daughter Jade had owned Eclipse for five years, told H&H she was devastated.

“He was such a special horse,” she said. “He and my daughter were best friends and they had a wonderful relationship so this has been very tough for her. We still can’t believe he has gone.”

Eclipse and Jade taking part in an endurance competition
Eclipse and Jade taking part in an endurance competition

April said she noticed something was wrong when she got home from work.

“Eclipse was lying in the field and I thought he was just sunning himself, but when I checked a bit later he was still there,” she said. “Jade went out to check on him and then started screaming. It was just dreadful.”

A post-mortem confirmed that Eclipse, an all-rounder who was working his way up the ranks in endurance, had been hit by a bolt of lightning. April admitted she was surprised by the cause of death.

She explained: “The weather wasn’t bad that day and I certainly wasn’t worried about him being out in his field. But one of my neighbours told me that an almighty thunderbolt came out of nowhere at 3pm.

“He would have been standing in his usual spot and when we found him he had his ears pricked,” April said.

“I keep wondering whether there was anything I could have done. He was a horse in a million and we all miss him so much.”